Think, for a moment, about all the tools you use to repair and maintain your car. Now, let me ask you something: what kind of typewriter are you using to check your wheel runout? Wait — you don't use a typewriter for any of your auto maintenance? Are you nuts?
I found this how-to in the 1972 issue of Mechanix Illustrated — the Holistic Etymologist I go to to check my word-glands really needs to update her waiting room reading material. While looking through this magazine, I found this insane-sounding method to check how out-of-round your wheels and tires are by using a big old manual typewriter.
It's basically just being used as something heavy with an easy-to-adjust horizontal rod — the platen. It looks like you get the little knob at the end of the carriage to be as close as possible to the tire without touching, and then spin the tire to see if/where it makes contact.
It's a pretty clever idea, but it just sounds bonkers.
"Hey, can I borrow your typewriter? I'm doing some maintenance on my Falcon. Thanks!"
See, that just doesn't sound right. "Maybe next week when I change the oil I can borrow your Dictaphone, if that's ok?"